Monday, October 13, 2014

NSW BDM new online search

Have you tried to use the new online search facility at NSW Births, Death & Marriages? We have been spoiled in NSW with ease of searching historical registrations of births, deaths & marriages. The new search facility was to offer improvements, but they have been slow in coming and users have had to learn some new techniques to get the best use from the site.
The website address is still & from this main page go to the Family History Tab. There is no longer an annual release of registrations, but access is now available to births over 100 years old, marriages more than 50 years old and deaths more than 30 years old.
The wildcard function has been restored. You can use '?' or '*'
e.g. Anders?n to search for Anderson or Andersen (The ? replaces one character)
 or  Thom* will search for Thompson, Thomson, Thomas, Thomms etc. (The * replaces multiple characters)
A Soundex search facility is supposed to be coming.
You need to select your search i.e. Birth, death or Marriage. You are required to enter both a Surname and Given name, however if you use the wildcard *, it will help you get around this. e.g. Surname: Anderson & Given Name: * - so you get all the Andersons in the data base. Don't forget to enter a specific date or a date range. e.g. 21/4/1890 or 1/1/1890 to 31/6/1890. this will help narrow down your results.
There is a step-by-step guide to make better use of the website, but you won't get any helpful hints when using the search facility. The site is being continually improved, so users just need to be patient as better functionality is introduced.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

NSW Probate Notices now online

Up until last year, NSW Probate notices had to be published in a newspaper. This requirement has now ceased. It is now optional, however it is a requirement of the Supreme Court of NSW that Probate Notices appear on its website at 
This is still relatively new, but should become a useful tool for family historians to check for recent deaths. You can enter quite a broad search, e.g. a surname, and the results screen will show you the full name of the deceased, their location, date of death and date that the application for probate was lodged. Clicking on their name (which is hyperlinked) opens a new screen which shows who applied for Probate, Letters of Administration etc. Although you don't get additional information such as the occupation of the deceased, at least you get an indication of where they lived and the exact date of death. You can also search by a place or postcode rather than a name. It records applications for probate which occurred after 21 January 2013 although the death may have occurred much earlier.


14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry

The “14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry” otherwise known simply as “Congress” is Australia’s largest genealogy conference. Organised by AFFHO (the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations) this event that is only held every three years. in an Australian or New Zealand city.
This next congress will be held from Thursday 26 – Monday 30 March 2015 in Canberra, ACT
It’s not BIG in the same sense as RootsTech in the US, that can attract 10,000-15,000 people, but it is big for Australia. And for anyone that is wanting to learn everything they can about genealogy, take this opportunity to learn from so many experts.
Being in Canberra next is a plus for attendees, as it is Australia’s mecca for archives - The National Library of Australia, the National Archives of Australia, the Australian War Memorial, the National Film & Sound Archives, the National Museum of Australia, the Noel Butlin Archives Centre to mention a few.
If you bring along your non-genealogy family,  there’s plenty of things for them to do while you’re busy at the conference (
It is a four day conference, which makes the travel worthwhile. The length of the conference gives you ample time to meet, hear and learn from 34 world-renowned guest presenters. Many of these are Australian and New Zealand speakers, but there’s also quite a number of expert presenters from the northern hemisphere who’re making their way to Australia’s capital. For the speaker list, click here.
A wide variety of topics will be covered, so there really is something for everyone, including subjects for the beginner through to the advanced. Check the program here to see what the topics are. As well as a stimulating program there will be exhibitors as well.
You will get to meet, mix and mingle with many other genealogists, throughout the day, or at the various other social functions that Congress has organised.
8. If you’re attending be sure to register your research interests, so can maximise your chances of making a connection with someone.
The $550 cost is very reasonable for a four day conference, but if it is beyond your means, or you can’t attend for the full length of time, you can opt for just a single day for $140. There is  also an  EARLY BIRD PRICE of $495 if you book by 31 October 2014.
For more information about the Congress check out their website

You can also Follow them on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to the Congress newsletters

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